In a wheelchair and wearing a surgical mask, Genine Jones, 66, was wheeled into a Bexar County courtroom today to hear not guilty pleas to five murder counts entered in her behalf, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Jones is accused in the deaths of five children and infants at the former Bexar County Hospital, now University Hospital, in the early 1980s. Defense attorney Cornelius Cox says the murders happened when he was a first year law student, so it won't be an easy case to defend.
"It goes back a long ways," he said. "It is going to be a higher hurdle for us, because of the time."
Jones is set to be released in March after serving more than thirty years in prison for killing 14 month old Chelsea McClellan in a doctors office in Kerrville, where she was a pediatric nurse. Bexar County District Attorney Nico LaHood says justice requires that she never be free, and convicting her on additional murder charges will make it so she stays in prison for the rest of her life.
Jones is suspected in the murders of as many as sixty children, which would make her the most prolific serial killer in Texas history.
LaHood has indicated that he would be open to a plea bargain, but Cox says its far too early to discuss specifics of the case.
"She has a right to a trial, to a fair trial, just as much as anyone else," he said.
LaHood says all five of the trials will take place separately. Cox said it is too early to say what the next step will be.
Since Jones is a state prisoner, bond is not an issue.